I reached up to hold his face in my hands and I kissed him again quickly. “I know that.” I told him. “I love you infinitely, and I know you love me too.”
“Forever.” He mused, looking awed as he gazed at me. “It’s funny, that word has such a different meaning now.” He whispered.
“It certainly does.” I agreed, holding him tighter and sliding my body closer to his. “I like it though.”
Calvin slowly looped an arm behind me and pulled me into him, pressing my body against him and the heat between us, two cold vampires, was sweltering. He kissed me deeply, my lips parting the second he touched me. Not having to stop kissing to take a breath was jarring at first, but then I realized that meant I could just kiss him as long as I wanted and never get tried.
“You know,” He whispered as he kissed down my jaw to my neck urgently. “I know I told you that you weren’t strong enough, but if you wanted to try to take advantage of me, I wouldn’t stop you.” He smiled deviously.
“Is that so?” I whispered, but then I noticed the sandpaper feel in my throat. I brought my hand up to my neck and Calvin stopped kissing it and looked at me evenly.
“Maybe something else first, then?” He asked carefully.
My throat was getting drier feeling by the second, tingling with thirst like I’d been in the middle of the desert for twenty years just drying out slowly. It hurt like hell, just like Calvin had said before. It was a rubbing, throbbing, and highly uncomfortable thirst.
“Yes.” I nodded, trying to speak as little as possible. Now that I’d acknowledged the pain, it only seemed to grow.
“Wait here.” He directed me, getting up from the bed and straightening out his shirt and adjusting his dark pants before rushing to the door. I listened to the sounds of his feet, the quick padding up the hallway before I heard him knock on a door.
Three doors down and I could focus in and hear them. Granted, the hotel had incredibly thin walls, but it was still an amazing feat.
I listened as Pedro and Calvin exchanged quick info. They were ready with their plan, and Calvin wanted to get the blood from Logan for me.
Blood. I thought that it would gross me out the first time, but I felt my dry mouth water at the thought of it. When I closed my eyes I could picture Logan, his full veins in his neck pumping that thick blood through him. I wanted to rip into them, taste that sweet crimson liquid and drai-….When
my thoughts started to scare me, I thought only of Rose and Calvin. My love for them building inside of my mind and distracting me away from the bloodlust.
To distract myself I focused in on another room, listening to the bad reality TV show and the person laughing along to the drama in two or so rooms the opposite direction, letting my friend’s voices fade into the buzz of the background.
Three minutes later and Calvin was back, a big cup in his hands and I was off of the bed, snatching the cup and tossing back the blood like a madwomen in all under two seconds. I felt it run down my throat, easing the ache and throbbing, drenching my body in a warm satisfaction like I hadn’t felt before. It was delicious, and I wanted more.
Calvin put his hand on my shoulder gently and led me over to the bed. “I know the urge feels a little overwhelming right now.”
He told me and I nodded, staring blankly at the red stained empty cup, debating whether or not Calvin would judge me if I started licking at the leftover blood stuck to the sides. “Just wait a few minutes and let that settle into your system. You don’t need much to get by, and I actually gave you more than a normal meal is so that you’ll be especially full.” I couldn’t believe what he was saving. That one cup was all I was getting? He must have seen the panic on my face because he turned my head to look at him and he demanded my attention. “Look at me.” He whispered. “It’s more than enough, just let it settle, and then you’ll feel ok again.”
I nodded and did as I was told. I stared into his eyes until what he had told me came to be true. I was still willing to drink more, but I could feel that I didn’t need it anymore. I felt full enough to not think only of blood and killing but I figured it was a good idea to keep me distracted anyway. “Can I go look at the plans now?” I asked him. “I heard Pedro say they were ready. Can we go soon?”
Calvin laughed at me, shaking his head again. “You are handling everything so well, Rachel.” He praised me. “I’m so immensely proud of you.” I smiled under his gaze and he stood up, offering me his hand. “Let’s go meet with the others and Renard can fill us in on the new plan.”
“What about Logan?” I asked nervously as I took his hand.
“You’ll be fine.” Calvin promised and I followed him into the hallway, finding that this was where the mildew smell was coming from and the awful fluorescent lights weren’t doing anything good for the bad shag carpet.
I walked into our room and came face to face with everyone’s curious eyes. “I’m fine.” I smiled at everyone and they smiled back, Octavia coming over to hug me.
I slowly scanned the faces until I landed on Logan’s and he looked up at me warily. I could see his veins pulsing, just as I had imagined, and I could smell him. It was hard to explain, but he just smelled… good. Although I noticed his scent though, it wasn’t too hard to push that thought into the back of my busy consciousness. “Thank you.” I mouthed to him as I walked over to look at the blueprint and he grinned at me, a big sideways Logan grin.
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“A true vampire queen now.” Cromley said courtly as he stood from his seat and bowed to me, Renard mimicking the actions. “It’s my honor to serve you, Majesty.” He said.
I put a hand on both of their shoulders. “It is my honor to work with you both and I thank you endlessly for everything you both have already done to help us.”
“Of course.” Renard smiled. “Cromley, want to give our queen the rundown?” He asked him, nudging Cromley playfully and Cromley tried to remain serious but he couldn’t help smile at Renard’s silliness.
Cromley gathered himself and moved over so that Calvin and I could see the table clearly. “Alright, so here it goes.” He smiled.
“We will follow Lexton out, staying a few yards back to not tip the men out front off, and when they are off guard because of her arrival, Renard and I will attack these four guards, making space for the rest of you to move through.” He explained, moving the pieces of paper with our names on them around. “Once inside, Pedro and Calvin will take out the next four guards while Renard and I move through to take out the next two going around the complex from this direction.” He pointed out the left side of the circular compound where two more doors were marked as having guards.
“The rest of you will take this direction and take out the guards in this section and we will all meet up in the middle to take out the eight guards on the main room where Rose is being kept.”
He marked the center room with a big ‘X’. “We’ll bust in, me, Calvin, Renard, and Pedro pushing though first, pushing out any people inside to either side of the room while you, Octavia, and Lexton move to the back of the room. Anyone who gets in your way, kill them.” He smiled. “Locate Rose, and then the three of you guard her while the rest of us fight the rebels. Of course if there’s more than we thought, Octavia and Lexton will both need to fight with us, and it will be up to you to protect Rose.”
To my human brain, it would have been too much information all at once, but now it was easy to follow and memorize the routes marked, the exact sizes of rooms and passages, the number of people who should be where, and everything else all at once. “I can do it.” I said confidently.
Renard grinned at me. “Good, because we are moving out the second the sun sets again.” He nodded then he narrowed his eyes and clapped a hand on my shoulder. “Now let me teach you how to kick some rebel vampire ass.”
“Rachel, it’s time.” Calvin whispered in the bed beside me.
I glanced absently over at the clock and sighed, it was almost six in the evening and the sun would be setting in thirty minutes. I knew exactly how long because I’d been lying here awake for hours on end trying to rest, but knowing that sleep wasn’t going to come for me. I hadn’t fully garnered how to quiet all of the billions of thoughts in my head enough for me to get even close enough to a relaxed state to sleep. On top of that, I was too nervous.
Being a vampire now didn’t really make me feel any stronger about our situation than I had before. I was still afraid of what the outcome would be, with or without my extra power. It didn’t make my fear subside any. All day long while I’d been lying in bed trying to sleep, the millions of things that could go wrong circulated in my brain. I tried relentlessly to force myself believe that seven of us really could take down an entire compound.
Calvin seemed confident in our shot, and so did Cromley and Renard, but it was hard to make my logical thinking mind to imagine an outcome that didn’t end in one or all of us dying.
I shook my head at myself, rolling over in the bed to face Calvin. He lifted his arm for me and pulled me over into a hug.
“Everything will be ok, Rachel.” He whispered. “I’m going to be sure that our daughter and you are both taken care of.”
I sat up on my elbow and looked at him seriously. “Calvin, if it comes down to it, and you have to choose between us, please don’t choose me.” I whispered. “I know you want to keep us both safe, but promise me you’ll pick her over me.”
Calvin’s eyes watered, something I could easily see even with the curtains all drawn and the lamp off. “I promise.” He said shallowly and I nodded as he leaned forward to kiss my forehead before he pulled back the blankets. “Anyway, it won’t be an issue because you’ve got all of your hot fighting skills now.” He smiled at me, trying to lighten my mood.
I couldn’t remember anymore how many times Renard had laid me out when he was training Lexton and me earlier. If I’d been human anymore I’d have shattered every bone in my body. Luckily it didn’t hurt too badly, and I finally started to get a few of the maneuvers he was showing me.
“I’ll have you remember that I was quite scrappy before my extra training.” I pointed out. “Don’t you remember me kneeing Marco in the junk on live television, or the time I held that guy at knife point?” I smiled.
Calvin narrowed his eyes. “Oh, trust me, I remember that well.” He told me. “It was a sight that would not be easily forgotten.”
He shook his head as he smiled at me and went over to the chair by the table where the blue bag with our clothes that Logan had gone out to pick up were. He pulled out his fitted black shirt and long black pants before handing the bag over to me.
The seriousness snuck back in. Our actions became mechanical. Shirt off, new black shirt on. Shorts off, pants on. Hair up, teeth brushed. On and on it went until we were both standing in the center of the room, comically looking a little like we were ready to go rob a bank in our all black and boots. Nothing was left to do. This was it, our last moment together alone before we’d have to join the others and move out.
“Come here.” He whispered, opening his arms.
I stepped forward into his grasp and I held him as tight as I could while he leaned his head down on top of mine. “I love you.” I whispered into his shirt, trying not to cry. I knew what we were about to do was dangerous and that there was a chance this could actually be it… the it. The last time I hold him and he holds me and we profess our undying love.
He held my face and looked down at me seriously. “I love you now,” He whispered. “I’ll love you tomorrow, I’ll love you next week, I’ll love you next year, I’ll love you next century, and I’ll always love you, Rachel.” He kissed my head again. “Nothing will change it, you hear me?” He asked. “I will love you for the rest of time, and that starts with me taking you to get our
daughter, and that’s what we’re going to do.” Then he grinned, cocking his head to the side. “When this is all over, I’ll take you to get some cobbler.”
I laughed into his chest and squeezed him harder. “Can I tell you something?” I smiled up at him. “It’s a big secret and you can’t go bragging about it to everyone.”
“Tell me.” He asked, brushing his thumb across my cheek bone.
I inched up to his ear and whispered. “I love you even more than I love cobbler.”
Calvin chuckled and leaned down to my ear next. “I’ll let you in on a little secret too,” He whispered. “I always knew you wanted me more than that damn cobbler anyway.”
I never wanted to leave his arms, but we both knew it was time for us to meet with the rest of the group. He kissed me again quickly then led me out of the room and down the stairs out into the lobby. It was easy to spot them among the rest of the people busying around. I almost laughed again at our all black attire. Surely people were getting nervous being around us, wondering what we were up to. I couldn’t laugh though because the serious looks on their faces reminded me that there was nothing to laugh about right now.
ANYTHING FOR RACHEL